Governor Parson announces $1M grant to Urban League of St. Louis to expand violent crime de-escalation program

Missouri Governor Mike Parson

Governor Mike Parson announced a $1 million grant to the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc. for the expansion of the Serving Our Streets Initiative.

This initiative drives at the heart of violent crime in St. Louis by focusing on community outreach and direct engagement with citizens in the highest crime and poverty areas. This proven program focuses on gun violence de-escalation and providing resources to victims of crime.

“For over a year, my administration has been working with community groups, civic leaders, clergies, law enforcement, and mayors across the state to find solutions to violent crime,” Governor Parson said. “We know we have a serious issue with violent crime in Missouri, and the Serving Our Streets Initiatives is a very valuable tool in addressing these issues at the local level. We are excited to see the initiative expand, which is another great step in our overall efforts to combat violent crime and make our communities safer.”

Serving Our Streets utilizes trained Urban Engagement Specialists to provide boots-on-the-ground engagement that builds relationships with citizens in targeted areas. These outreach workers generate and develop accessible, real-time solutions for residents and serve as advocates to assist in obtaining necessary resources. 

This initiative also supports other Urban League programs such as the Amnesty Project, Neighborhood Opioid Triage, and Operation Clean Sweep. 

“This is an excellent start; this is the first time we have had this level of concentrated resources put directly into neighborhoods,” said James Clark, Vice President of Public Safety and Community Response for the Urban League. “This funding will allow us to expand the number of neighborhoods receiving intensive crime reduction interventions.”

This grant will utilize federal grant dollars under the Community Services Block Grant through a partnership with ARCHS St. Louis.